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RRRC Competitions Committee Notes – 8/12/2019

The Red River Competitions Committee releases their monthly committee call minutes and notes. View all of the archived RRRC minutes or read on for the most recent:

  1. Roll Call
    1. Kolberg
    2. Kurylas
    3. Dale
    4. Tolar
    5. Keuppens
    6. Young
    7. Hughes
    8. Leming
    9. Fosco
    10. Dodge
    11. Watson
      1. Guests
        1. Roche
        2. Justin Hale (ORC)
      2. Regrets
        1. O’Gara
  2. Follow Ups
    1. Divisional Alignments
      1. ORC Appeal
        1. Dodge: We had voted for them to start in MD4, but they are petitioning to be in MD3. We neglected to include them in our call last month to give their position.
        2. Hale: We think MD3 would be more viable for the club. ORC is well organized, I feel confident I can run the club at that level. Working on partnerships and sponsorships with Pflugerville. Quality and experience of players who are seriously interested in playing and committing. Since last submitted the list, the number of interested players has increased. I feel that the level of players would be above the current level of MD4 in Texas. 90% of interested players have been active and those who haven’t been are far north of Austin. The reason the club is starting and based in RR/Pflugerville is to give those North-Austin players a team closer to home where they can attend weekday practices. These are players who have shown they can be committed and consistent and aren’t close enough to viably continue playing with Huns/Blacks. I wouldn’t be a player/coach: I would be a full-time coach, bringing on assistant coaches as well. Coaches who have competed and coached at a D3 level.
        3. Dodge: What is your home match pitch?
        4. Hale: Swenston Park? Local park in Pflugerville, grass pitch owned by the city. Rock rugby has offered to assist with post pads/uprights if needed. Lined by the city when needed for soccer/etc.
        5. Kolberg: Based on the schedule, you have two big road trips to commit to, are your players committed to that?
        6. Hale: Most interested players are D2/D3 already in the area and are used to traveling
        7. Keuppens: What’s your sustainability plan as far as growth is concerned? Are you going to be able to attract new players from RR/Pf?
        8. Hale: Goal for the first year is to set a stable foundation, experienced group of guys who are used to playing rugby in Texas and travelling. Moving into year two, recruiting will be in process, transitioning from 7’s to XV in the second year. Not trying to recruit 40 new players in the first year, trying to build the foundation. Rock Rugby is a strong HS program in Round Rock but no adult team to move to in the RR area specifically. Could provide a great pathway to strengthen the rugby commitment.
        9. O’Gara: Are you looking to recruit current players into the refereeing courses and in the TRRA?
        10. Hale: Wants to send the whole team through at least the L1 course, I don’t expect 30 guys to fully jump into refereeing but getting the idea into their minds, maybe find a few that like it and can pick it up on the side.
        11. Dodge: Looking at the information from Tribe and ORC, you can’t put two of them in different divisions: they have similar organization and motivation
        12. Dale- Seems they’ve got their act together, they have players and fields. No reason we shouldn’t vote
        13. Kolberg: They’ve got the numbers which is what concerns me about new teams. They only have two big travel dates. With their organization: location is great.
        14. Keuppens: I’ve worked with Hale on the 7’s subcommittee, he’s well organized and attentive to detail. He’s done a lot of work on the back end and has the experience on the admin level to do what he needs to do to make it work.
        15. Leming: Location will help and not impede growth of rugby and players in the region. I always worry about pulling players with larger clubs involved but I think the proximity will help in the long run
        16. Hughes- they’ll have to play a 12-game season in MD3 which is a big ask for a new team in their first year.
        17. Leming: If we’ve created a precedent that when you’re a new club you have to start in MD4: this is going to become a big discussion every time a new club wants to join. We should create a better structure for what is required to enter in each division
        18. Dodge: since we’ve had MD4, this is the first time a brand new club has wanted to join above MD4. I don’t think we can change the rules now, but we can discuss for next year
        19. Watson: Motion to start the club in MD3, Keuppens 2nd. Hughes and Fosco opposed.
          1. Kolberg: For
          2. Fosco: Against
          3. Hughes: Against
          4. Keuppens: For
          5. Kurylas: For
          6. Tolar: For
          7. Young: For
          8. Watson: For
          9. Dodge: For
          10. Leming: For
          11. Dale: For
            1. Motion passes, 9 for, 2 against. APPROVED
    2. Divisional Alignment
        1. Dodge: Has Euless gotten anything in?
        2. Young: They haven’t gotten anything in, as a result of missing today’s deadline (and all the others we gave) the TRU has already agreed to DENY their application for membership.
        3. Dodge: What about the Women’s D1 and specifically SLC?
        4. Roche: Utah has been given two more days to confirm entry into WD1: confirmed teams are Denver, Glendale, Dallas, Houston, Austin
        5. Dodge: Women’s D2. Three teams in the North and four in the South.
        6. Young: WD2 has been approved for max of six games. Majority did not like crossover games and forfeited las year.
        7. Fosco: We would rather travel south than play the same teams over and over
        8. Dodge: Fosco will you survey the clubs to see what they would rather do? Crossover or minimum number of games.
          1. UPDATE: Fosco: Teams are keen to include crossover matches, but we will exclude McAllen as this is their first year of competition and we feel the travel would be unfair. They will still reach their match minimums with H&A.
      1. Men’s D1: 5 teams
        1. Kolberg: we’re doing the semi-final round the week before the finals with the lower-seed travelling?
        2. Hughes: I have two different schedules are having one week off between USAR Ro8 or two weeks off to make more time to book schedule
        3. Kolberg: Most teams requested having one week break instead of two weeks 
        4. Dodge: I anticipate the Ro8 to be on the West Coast. Having a two-week break would give you more time to plan travel and book flights before heading west
        5. Hughes: We can have a two week break and still start in 2020. Didn’t anticipate having a break before RRRC Finals
        6. Dale: I would prefer the majority of the matches towards the latter part of the schedule so they are good going into championships
        7. Hughes- Both Huns/Blacks have requested off the two weeks for SXSW, so we basically have to take those weekends off. Each team has two byes so sometimes it just falls that way. Season would start January 11th: 4 rounds, makeup weekend, 4 rounds, makeup weekend, Easter, RRRC Finals. Wanted to make sure this was good before layering in MD2 and MD3
        8. Dodge: let’s put the entire schedule out at once and not leak it by division
        9. Kolberg: Can we move the first game (Blacks/Quins) on the first schedule to the first makeup weekend? Instead of starting three days after new year’s?
        10. Dodge: Let us know when your overall schedule is ready and we can get it out to approve.
        11. Kurylas: Probably should keep January 4th weekend as a blackout so teams don’t have to get into gear that soon after the holiday.
      2. Men’s D2
        1. Dodge: Stays as we’ve discussed
      3. Men’s D3
        1. Hughes- Adding in ORC to that group
      4. Men’s D4
        1. Dodge: How do people feel about multi-side clubs together and single-side clubs together?
        2. Kurylas: The feedback from the teams was positive.
        3. Dodge- May have to do some crossover since Euless is being dropped. Does that trouble anyone? More/Less games? 6 games. You get your 6 matches then top from North plays each other then winner of the south. So possibly up to 8 matches.
        4. Kurylas: If the teams need more matches they can always reach out to schedule their own friendlies
        5. Dodge: Playoff brackets? Do we want to stick to the same thing?
        6. Tolar: Were the 2nd place matches competitive? Did the teams feel like they got something out of it
        7. Hughes: McAllen/Alliance competitive for 60 minutes but the Galveston/GP was a bit lopsided. But they all got the opportunity
        8. Dodge: Seemed to work out well, I’d like to stick to it if we don’t have any objections. MD4 south will be 8 matches per team.
      5. Women’s D3
        1. Dodge: Any idea what we want to do there?
        2. Young: Fort Worth is going to play socially this year and we’re encouraging them to participate in the WD3. Fosco and Elaine Vassie have volunteered to host 7s/10s/15s events in the DFW area. They will be tied to men’s matches to help with fields and referee resources.
    3. RRRC weather notification / cancellation / rescheduling policies: TABLED 
    4. Non-Saturday Matches/Referee Resources
      1. Dodge: I told teams if they don’t have active referees on their roster with the TRRA, they’ll be relegated to Sunday matches. They need to add active referees to their roster who are actually working with the TRRA.
      2. Hughes: We had a few weekends that had 20 games and it was a lot. Trying to limit games in the North is the key thing.
      3. O’Gara: More people have signed up for the L1 in Dallas so it’s about how quickly we can turn those L1 participants into active referees. It’s looking a lot more positive than it was last month
      4. Young: 12 participants in the L1, need some more for Sunday class. Will push out social media to try and increase participation.
  3. USA Rugby National 15s Club Playoff Dates
  4. 7’s Recap
    1. Keuppens: Hybrid format for the qualifiers is working well and increasing the level of competition, even with the men competing for one seed and the women competing for two. Will regroup with the 7’s subcommittee to evaluate that. Nationally: ARPTC Blue won the Bowl, Dallas Reds won the Bowl. Makes the conversation an uphill battle to win that 2nd seed back. Next year, want to put more focus on the TOLA bracket. Lower-level clubs don’t focus much on it as competitive rugby.
    2. Kolberg: Two of the center referees were Texas referees, Swatzell and Roche representing well for the TRRA.
    3. Dodge: Huns 2 won TOLA, Women is the Lady Quins
  5. Upcoming Summit
    1. Young: Courses are filling up, L300 is full, Coaching L200 only has a few spots left, many people are taking advantage of the double-day options. 133 RSVP for HOF dinner: best attended dinner yet! HOF tickets close on Aug 15 and Summit course registration closes on Aug 21.
  6. New Business
    1. OKC Tribe
      1. Dodge: We had a Tribe player tell us they aren’t playing due to specific coach joining the OKC Tribe staff. I asked that John and Rob verify that all their players were aware of who their coach was and re-verify the Tribe list. They have done that. I circulated to you all on a confidential basis earlier today.
    2. Mexico Tournament
      1. Watson: Possibility of having a tournament in Texas against Mexican clubs: XV’s in the fall.
    3. New Membership Options
      1. Watson: USAR is looking at new membership options. Options like a 7-day membership (for alumni), automatic renewal program, etc.
  7. Meeting Adjourned (9: PM)
    1. Motion: Watson, 2nd -Kolberg
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